Last month you gave the metal heads a nice Finnish melodic death metal treat with the release of your fourth album 'Till Death Unites Us'. I had never heard of Norther before this release, and I reckon I'm not the only one. Could you start off by describing Norther, its music and its philosophy in three sentences?
Norther is a very melodic death metal band from Finland, we play very straight forward going music and we have no philosophy to live by.
'Till Death Unites Us' has been out for a few weeks now. How have the reactions been so far?
Reactions have been very great so far, people seem to like it a lot!! Some have said that this is the best album from Norther and we think the same. This is really "THE Norther album".
For some years now Norther has to endure ongoing comparisons with your Finnish contemporaries Children of Bodom. Do you understand why people keep dragging them in while discussing Norther?
We both play same kind of metal with same singing-style so it is very easy to compare us together but I hope that is going to end with this album.
I, for one, feel that your music is related to that of CoB, but Norther are in no way copying them. Besides the vocals and the melodies, I think Norther is a bit less aggressive and is less guilty of guitar masturbation. Would you agree with this? If you had one chance to shut the critics up, what would you say to them?
I do agree with you on that, we don't masturbate with our guitars!!! One chance to shut the critics up: masturbate yourselves and Die!!!
Norther's music is, as is a lot of other Finnish music, extremely melodic. Do you have an explanation for the high melodic degree of lots of Finnish bands?
Damn, that is a bad one... I think Finnish bands don't want to make too simple music with less melodies but they want to bring the feelings in the songs out by using melodies very much.
You are also a member of the somewhat bigger and better known band Ensiferum. Is it difficult for you to combine these two bands?
No, not right now. But I feel blessed for not having schedule problems with Norther or Ensiferum.
How do you decide whether a riff or a melody is best suited for Norther or for Ensiferum?
That is pretty easy, riffs for Ensiferum need to be more folk-metal, the riffs for Norther should be more metal. When I write songs for Norther, I can do pretty much what I want but Markus is the main writer in Ensiferum so I need to check my riffs with him.
The Scandinavian scenes are known for their 'band incest', so are there any other members of Norther active in projects we should know about?
Our guitarist Kristian has a project called "Gas house Garden" and our bassist plays also in "Wintersun".
The song titles on 'Till Death Unites Us' are not always what you would typically expect from a death metal band. Some songs are quite touchy and sensible. Would you describe Norther as a typical death metal band, or do you have a soft side as well?
I think Norther isn't a typical death-metal band and you can hear it from the album that we have a softer side too with our few slower songs. We like to push the boundaries in this kind of music a little bit.
Is there a main topic that the songs of Norther deal with? Or are the songs about various things in this world? What is the song 'Evil ladies' (great chorus!) for instance about?
The main topics in our lyrics are Death, suicide, the dark side of the human mind with a lot of so called "black-humor" too, we don't write our lyrics so seriously but some of them are partly true and the rest is fiction. "Evil ladies" is dedicated to all the girls in this metal scene more or less and I have to say that we had fun writing those lyrics..
You did some small support tours over Europe in the past, is this going to be the case again this year, when promoting 'Till Death Unites Us' live? What bands would you like to go on tour with?
We are checking out tours for this year and we would love to do a tour again and a lot of festival shows too. There is too many bands to be mentioned with whom I would like to tour with.
Well, I'm all out of questions, if you have a last message for our readers, now's your chance!
Thank for this interview and buy our new album or we will kick your asses!!!! Ciao...